Domestic Violence is power, control, or coercion of an intimate partner. It includes physical, emotional, financial, digital, verbal, spiritual, and sexual abuse. Domestic violence charges take many forms, including assault, protective order violations, destruction of property, and interference with a communication device.
Sexual Assault is a crime of power and control. It includes any form of forced or coerced sexual contact without consent, including rape, incest, molestation, harassment, lewdness, oral sex, unwanted touching, and forcing someone to take sexual pictures.
Child abuse is causing harm to a child under the age of 18, and includes neglect; endangerment; physical, mental, or emotional injury; sexual abuse or exploitation; and exposure to harmful materials or substances. Domestic violence in the presence of a child constitutes child abuse.
CourtWatch targets these issues because all three are highly stigmatized by society, which results in a lack of understanding about the causes, effects, and components of these crimes. Stigmatization creates biases in the way the community thinks about these issues, which can in turn lead to victim shaming and a reluctance to report when these crimes occur. Disturbingly, all three crimes occur in Utah at rates higher than the national averages.
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